An environmental impact report on San Diego’s nearly $3 billion plan to recycle wastewater into drinking water will go before the City Council’s Environment Committee Wednesday. Supporters of the so-called “Pure Water San Diego” program say it will provide residents and businesses with a stable, local supply of potable water that won’t be affected by drought or the uncertainties of future imports. The product will be purified and mixed with water from traditional sources before it’s delivered to customers.
Archive for date: October 12th, 2016
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Five years of drought have brought both big challenges and big changes to California’s urban water systems. Amid yearlong mandatory water cuts, residents of California’s cities have made massive efforts to conserve water at home and at work. Many water agencies have stepped up programs to treat and reuse water. Policymakers have made headway in regulations for water recycling. But there’s ample room for growth. Experts around the world are watching how Californian cities think, research and innovate to create a path of sustainable growth in a future with fewer water resources.
A University of Arizona professor believes there is an important story being overlooked in the media’s coverage of an ongoing drought across the Southwest. George Frisvold, a professor of agricultural resources, said it is not fair to point the blame at farmers in drought-ridden states like Arizona and California as the sole cause for water shortages. Arizona farmers do use a good majority of Arizona’s water supply, but Frisvold pointed to how farmers have been able to efficiently reduce their water use over the last 30 years.
Until recently, most people weren’t familiar with the Salton Sea. But as California’s largest lake has rapidly receded over the last several years, it has begun to grab national headlines as the site of several doomsday scenarios for public health, the environment and the economy.
As the water level drops, miles of lake bed are exposed. The parched earth gets kicked up into hazardous dust storms that contribute to the highest asthma-hospitalization rate in the state. Left unabated, the Salton Sea lake bed could become the largest source of particulate air pollution in North America, threatening the health of hundreds of thousands of people in California and the Mexican state of Baja.
The United States wrought “devastating consequences” upon farmers in California’s Central Valley when it took control of water meant for agriculture and residents and diverted it to other districts on the west side of the Central Valley, Fresno and 17 water districts claim in a $350 million federal lawsuit.
Fresno and the water district say the government gave them nothing after it took ownership of all of the water in the Friant Division of the Central Valley Project in 2014 to give to a group of contractors as “substitute water,” according to the Oct. 5 complaint in the Court of Federal Claims.
A new report commissioned by the Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural water district in the nation, concludes that water supply restrictions are reducing farm production and negatively impacting communities dependent on agriculture.
“Unfortunately, government water policies are responsible for decline in farming and risks to the communities in the San Joaquin region,” said Johnny Amaral, deputy general manager for Westlands. “The Central Valley Project is broken, the management of state water resources is jeopardizing the region, and without a solution there is little hope of a turnaround that will improve conditions for farming in 2017.”
The former director of binational affairs for the city of San Diego is the newest member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Elsa Saxod, who was installed during Tuesday’s board meeting at MWD headquarters in Los Angeles, is the city of San Diego mayor’s appointee to the San Diego County Water Authority, where she has served since 2008.